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[20130321] Happy 20th Birthday, NetBSD! (Update)

20 years back from today, NetBSD was initially checked into CVS. Revision 1.1 of src/Makefile was committed on March 21st 1993 on 09:45:37 by Chris Demetriou (cgd@):

% cvs log -Nr1.1 Makefile
revision 1.1
date: 1993/03/21 09:45:37;  author: cgd;  state: Exp;
branches:  1.1.1;
Initial revision 
NetBSD was started as successor to the Berkeley System Distribution (BSD) Unix with a focus on multiplatform support.

Personally, I've followed NetBSD since the day in 1993 when the Amiga port popped up, which was the first platform that the newly forked operating system was ported to after its separation from BSD.

Many things have happened in the past 20 years, and a lot could be shown and told for the history books at this point. But I guess that can be done later - I'd be happy to help out with such a project if someone wants to start it, though :)

For today I'm very happy that NetBSD is available on a wide range on platforms, runs the software that I want and gives me the assurrance it will be around tomorrow and hopefully for the next 20 years, too.

Cheers, NetBSD!

Update: Jeremy Reed pointed me at his BSDnewletter posting, which gives a number of details of NetBSD's history. Recommended reading!

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[20080322] Happy birthday, NetBSD!
OK, I'm a bit late on this, but still: NetBSD has turned 15 years old! Alistair Crooks, president of The NetBSD Foundation, sent out the good news: `` The first commits were made to the NetBSD source code repository on March 21, 1993, and the first release of the NetBSD Operating System, NetBSD 0.8, was announced on USENET shortly thereafter. Throughout the past fifteen years, NetBSD has increased the portability and security of the 4.4BSD operating system on which NetBSD was based, and added support for new processor and system families, while enhancing the system's performance to such an extent that NetBSD has become known as the most portable operating system in the world. Innovations in the storage, networking and virtualization arena have been added, and much work has been done recently on performance, especially with multi-core and multi-threaded machines in mind.''

The article continues to name a few of the key items that were part of the latest release, NetBSD 4.0, and the changes that were added after that, and which will be in the next major release, NetBSD 5.0. Also, there are a number of roadmaps for the areas of networking, storage, the NetBSD operating system core, and virtualization.

See Alistair Crooks' announcement for all the details!

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[20070418] On NetBSD being dead (maybe a bit late, but hey)
There was quite some hoopla some time ago when Charles Hannum, co-founder of the NetBSD project, send out a mail about NetBSD being ~dead[1]. While this mail gained a lot of attention, no immediate or direct action was taken from an official side of the NetBSD project. The only consequence that seemed to be some account spring cleaning that also affected Charles' account[2]. Now while one may see an obvious connection of cause and effect here, things are not always what they seem, and Alistair Crooks, president of The NetBSD Foundation, has outlined a bit of the history of events that happened behind the scenes[3]:

``Charles had been asked to sign a developer's agreement, as had every other NetBSD developer, and he was unwilling to do that.

For almost 18 months prior to that, Charles's ssh access to all of the project machines had been suspended, as described in the mail below which I sent to an internal project list. The reason for the insistence on a completed developer's agreement for people with write access to the repositories is hopefully apparent.''

So in retrospect, it can be said that Charles' original mail was more of a frustrated reaction on the direction in which the NetBSD project went, and that it was not in the way of (one of) the original project founders.

Instead, in order to be able to protect the NetBSD project's assets, The NetBSD Foundation (TNF) was founded to claim copyrights and trademarks, to protect the NetBSD code base, the NetBSD project machines and in effect also the NetBSD userbase from ill meaning. NetBSD developers are members of TNF and have to sign developer agreements to ensure they know what they can and can not do -- the NetBSD Foundation Membership Agreement can be found at [4].

While a lot can still be said about the state of NetBSD, Alistair Crooks continues to point out the important part that eventually counts:

``As far as the "NetBSD is dead" thread - if anyone thinks that, they have obviously not read source-changes or pkgsrc-changes just recently.''


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[20070321] Happy birthday, NetBSD!
$ cd /usr/src
$ cvs log Makefile
RCS file: /cvsroot/src/Makefile,v 
revision 1.1
date: 1993/03/21 09:45:37;  author: cgd;  state: Exp;
branches:  1.1.1;
Initial revision

$ date
Wed Mar 21 10:11:08 CET 2007 

Cheer, dance, party!

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[20070204] Reports: NetBSD in Q2-Q4 2006 and pkgsrc in Dec 2006
Two reports that may be of interest and that have been published recently: Status Report 2006/Q2 - Q4, and Changes to the Packages Collection in December 2006, the latter including the all famous "package of the month" award, this time going to CIA, the Crude IP Accounting -- read the report for the reasons!

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[20060126] NetBSD Status Report Q3/Q4 2005
If you wonder what big and not so big things happened in NetBSD in Q3 and Q4 2005, have a look at the quarterly status reports for Q3+Q4 2005 that Jan Schauman assembled and published.

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[20051213] NetBSD 3.0 RC6 is here
Matthias Scheler from the NetBSD release engineering crew has announced the 6th Release Candidate for NetBSD 3.0. To quote from his mail: ``We expect that this will be the final release candidate for NetBSD 3.0, barring any major issues or security problems''.

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[20051129] NetBSD 3.0_RC4 has been tagged (and RC5 on its heels)
While the NetBSD website is not updated on this, the #NetBSD community blog points out that NetBSD 3.0_RC4 has been tagged, and also lists some of the changes new in this release candidate. See src/doc/CHANGES-3.0 on the netbsd-3 branch for all the details!

Update #1: RC5 was tagged shortly after detecting a few more buggos. Again, see src/doc/CHANGES-3.0 on the netbsd-3 branch for all the details!

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[20051126] NetBSD 3.0_RC2 and RC3 tagged
NetBSD 3.0 is rapidly approaching, and two more release candidates have been tagged, with some more changes. They are not officially announced, but lists of changes can be seen in the #NetBSD blog for 3.0_RC2 and 3.0_RC3. As usual, latest builds are available in the daily builds on the NetBSD FTP server and its mirrors.

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[20051125] What else will be in 3.0
I just found that NetBSD 3.0's fsck will have a -P flag, to disable parallel fscks and do them one after the other (boring/bad) BUT to show a "p"rogress bar while doing so. Whee!

(Yeah, I'd still prefer a decent logging filesystem, but well :)

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Disclaimer: All opinion expressed here is purely my own. No responsibility is taken for anything.

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